By Ralph Madugu
The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN), Plateau State chapter, has described the recent destruction of some churches in Jos and Bukuru metropolis as a direct attack on Christianity.
In a statement released in Jos in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS protests which were hijacked by miscreants, YOWICAN regretted that a peaceful protest by the youth was hijacked by unscrupulous elements hired to infiltrate a peaceful protests to further their selfish interests.
In the statement, which was signed by the Plateau State YOWICAN Chairman, Markus Kanda Audu, and secretary, Pastor Nehemiah Nanmwa Michael, the group said: “In Plateau State, the protests have been peaceful for several days without any issues until the morning of Tuesday 20th October, 2020 when suddenly hoodlums attacked innocent people who were going about their lawful businesses around the terminus area of Jos metropolis. Unfortunately, this led to the loss of lives and properties including shops and cars. Most worrisome is the attack on ECWA Goodnews Church located at Ahmadu Bello Way in Jos North LGA where its glass panes were smashed by hoodlums.
“In Bukuru, Jos South LGA, hoodlums also attacked the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Province 3 (Victory Parish) located around Gero Junction and looted the Church offices and auditorium of computers, television sets, office valuables, musical instruments etc and eventually set the building ablaze.
“The Word of Life Evangelical Assembly, another church that is just adjacent the RCCG was not spared as fire was thrown into it and valuables were destroyed.”
YOWICAN maintained that some people viewed the #ENDSARS protests as an attack on their own interests, hence the counter-attack and called on the state government and security agencies to urgently fish out and prosecute the culprits and demanded for the renovation of the affected churches.
The association commended the government for constituting the judicial committee to investigate cases of police brutality and extrajudicial killings by operatives of the disbanded SARS, adding: “We however wish to draw government’s attention on the observation of the youths that the person representing the youths on the panel was a former appointee of this government and he is not a youth, hence, one wonders whether there are no youths who are capable of representing the Plateau Youths in such a sensitive and all important assignment.”
YOWICAN urged youth to adhere to the recent directive of government to avoid any action that would threaten the peace and unity of the state.